2018-06-20 / Political Page

I On Politics

SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) released the following statement on the second anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting:

“Our hearts still ache for the 49 lives that were taken two years ago when our nation and the LGBTQ+ community was victimized by yet another senseless act of gun violence and bigotry.

“Today, as we remember this tragedy and honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Democrats stand together in our commitment to disarm hate by fighting to pass commonsense gun safety legislation, which will allow Americans to feel safe and protected in our communities.”

SENATE APPROVES ADDABBO BILL TO ESTABLISH SCHOOL SAFETY TASK FORCE: The New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S.7928) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. to create a state Task Force to study school safety and make recommendations on how students and school personnel can be better protected from harm.

 “Columbine, Parkland, and Sandy Hook are just a few of the names that tragically remind us that greater precautions must be taken to prevent shootings and other forms of violence in our schools,” said Addabbo. “Innocent children and school personnel have been tragically injured or have lost their lives when firearms have fallen into the wrong hands – leaving all of us with broken hearts and demanding solutions to the violence. The Task Force established by my legislation will be charged with studying the issue of school safety, determining what works and what doesn’t, and recommending policies to keep our classrooms safe and secure.”

The 12-member task force would consist of four people appointed by the governor, four chosen by the State Senate, and four named by the State Assembly. In addition to the appointment of four teachers, the other members of the panel must have experience in school administration, mental health, and law enforcement. The task force will be charged with delivering a comprehensive report and recommendations to the governor and legislature within one year. Among other issues, the task force will study the frequency and seriousness of violence that occurs on school grounds, underlying causes of school violence, and safety approaches used by other states and countries.

Addabbo noted that he also sponsors legislation (S.7927) that would require all entrances to public schools to be locked, requiring visitors to be screened by school personnel before gaining admittance to the building. This is common practice in most private schools.

Now that the School Safety Task Force bill has been approved by the Senate, it is under review by the Assembly Education Committee.

CROWLEY: SAVED LEFRAK POLLING SITE ‘A VICTORY FOR VOTING RIGHTS’: Congress Member Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) issued the following statement after the Queens Board of Elections abandoned their legal effort to move LeFrak City’s longtime polling sites:

“Maintaining the polling sites sends a strong message to LeFrak City residents, and to the entire city, that their voices matter and their right to vote is paramount. I’m glad to see the Board of Elections has dropped their misguided legal effort to move these polling sites and that my constituents will be able to vote within their community,” said Congress Member Crowley.

Late last month, LeFrak City signed a new lease to keep the majority of the community’s polling sites within the apartment complex. This is a major victory for voting rights and representation for the citizens of Queens.

Crowley has been working alongside the LeFrak City Tenants’ Association, Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry, Council Member Francisco Moya, and residents since last summer to advocate for the polling sites to be maintained. In August, Crowley publicly called on the Queens Board of Elections to work with the LeFrak community to ensure their access to the polls was not unnecessarily impeded. Earlier this year, Crowley demanded the board immediately drop their effort to move the longtime polling sites to alternate locations in Queens.

CROWLEY HAILS ASSEMBLY PASSAGE OF BAIL REFORM: Congress Member Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, released the following statement on the passage of a New York State Assembly bill that would eliminate cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent felonies:

“This is a much-needed reform to our state’s criminal justice system. This bill will reduce New York’s jail population and help ensure that low-income New Yorkers are no longer punished for simply being unable to afford bail.

“It’s a travesty that two-thirds of our state’s jail population hasn’t even been convicted of a crime. Thousands of our fellow New Yorkers, many of whom are black or Latino, have been robbed of a future and stripped of their dignity simply because our criminal justice system is broken.

“This bill is a good first step toward bringing justice to the families who have been torn apart by mass incarceration and will set us on course to end cash bail once and for all.”

ADDABBO STANDS AGAINST THE MAYOR’S OZONE PARK SHELTER PLAN: “As a lifelong resident of Ozone Park who is raising a family there, I intend to take every credible, necessary measure to protect the quality of life, safety and concerns of my constituents with regards to the mayor’s placing of a homeless shelter at the 101st Avenue location.

“I stand ready to use my prior experiences with this mayor’s administration and its $2 billion worth of failed homeless policies, to work with my colleagues in government, the local police precinct and area residents in addressing the many issues regarding this Ozone Park site.

“I intend to urge the mayor’s office to reconsider this proposal for a number of valid reasons, one being its unacceptably large population of mentally disabled males, in such close proximity to five schools.

“As we prepare to oppose the mayor’s ill-conceived plan and provide improved services for homeless individuals, I believe now is the time to refrain from striking false fear into the community and gather facts in order to strategically work together in making a timely, credible argument against the city’s Ozone Park shelter idea.”

PHEFFER AMATO’S BILL ESTABLISHES STANDARDS FOR HURRICANE WINDSTORM DEDUCTIBLES: The NYS Assembly passed Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato’s bill, A.06665, that would establish standards for hurricane windstorm deductibles, creating uniformity in the operation of such deductibles with respect to the triggering event.

“Superstorm Sandy ravaged south Queens. Homes, local businesses, livelihoods, and schools were completely destroyed. We saw parts of our homes, boardwalk, and cars floating in the middle of the street,” Pheffer Amato said. “Our community was wiped out completely, and now, nearly SIX YEARS LATER, people are still trying to get their lives back together while overcoming continuous complications.”

Pheffer Amato continued, “This bill seeks to ensure basic fairness. After the storm neighbors came to find that they were being treated differently by their insurance companies: one family being told that a windstorm had occurred and their deductible applied, while the other was told that there was no windstorm. Sandy wreaked havoc on many of our lives, people were treated unfairly and horribly by their insurance companies—even though they did nothing wrong. Our message in the NYS Assembly is clear: we must protect our consumers in this state from natural disasters and from companies in which they entrust their financial security.”

The bill has now been sent to the NYS Senate for action.

CROWLEY REPUBLICAN IMMIGRATION BILL ‘INHUMANE’: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) issued the following statement on the immigration draft from House Republicans: “The immigration draft House Republicans released this afternoon (June 14) would put into law many of President Trump’s most hateful and misguided policies. It is unacceptable to Democrats.

“The American people are horrified and disgusted by President Trump’s immigration agenda and his decision to tear babies from their mothers’ arms. House Republicans should be ashamed that after millions of Americans demanded action from Congress to secure the future of DREAMers and put an end to President Trump’s inhumane policies, they remain too cowardly to act.”

SENATE PASSES ADDABBO TAX BREAK TO REMOVE FIRE HAZARD: Noting that a May 28 cockloft fire in an Elmhurst apartment building recently injured five firefighters, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) is continuing to push his legislation (S.3065) to provide financial assistance to homeowners who are interested in removing these dangerous structures from their buildings.

The bill was recently passed by the full State Senate, and is now under review by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

Addabbo initially introduced the legislation in the wake of a raging five-alarm blaze in Middle Village in 2013, which damaged seven homes, injured 11 firefighters, and may have been exacerbated by the existence of cocklofts in the structures. Often referred to as attics, cocklofts are often found in row houses and are generally defined as large concealed spaces between the top floor ceiling and the underside of the roof deck on homes.

“In the wake of this terrible fire, I decided to introduce legislation to aid homeowners in making structural modifications to their properties to eliminate these serious hazards,” said Addabbo. “Here in Queens and elsewhere, there has been growing evidence that cocklofts lead to extremely fast-moving and hard-to-control flames that put both residents and first responders at serious risk. There is no question that we need to address these dangers.”

Under Addabbo’s amended legislation, residents whose homes contain cocklofts would be able to apply for a tax credit equal to 25 percent of the cost of making improvements to eliminate the fire hazards. The increased maximum credit would be $5,000.

Addabbo noted that the ferocity of the 2013 Middle Village fire was said at the time to be related to these attic structures. Since then, other serious fires have occurred in buildings with cocklofts, including the most recent May 28 blaze where firefighters had to spend critical minutes cutting a hole in the building roof to put out the flames. Other examples include a fire in April of 2017 year that destroyed nearly half of the 112 apartments in a high-rise near Elmhurst Hospital Center. In that blaze, two firefighters were seriously injured and the Red Cross was called in to provide assistance to 144 adults and 31 children affected by the fire.

“If providing tax incentives to homeowners to repair cocklofts will help to save even one life from fire, it will be well worth it,” said Addabbo. “This bill seeks to lend a hand to homeowners who might otherwise be unable to afford the improvements, and may ultimately prevent devastating tragedies.”

Addabbo noted that connected row houses are no longer designed and built with cocklofts, owing to their dangerous tendency to allow flames to move quickly from building to building. “So now it’s time to take aim at the cocklofts that still exist and should be closed off,” he said.

CROWLEY ON SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF DACA: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) issued the following statement in recognition of the 6th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: “DREAMers were brought to this country by their parents, looking for a better life. The DACA program allowed them to live in the only country they’ve ever known, the only country they’ve ever loved. They have started careers, families, and businesses, and contributed immeasurably to our economy and society.

“Six years after this program brought relief and stability to these young adults, these DREAMers have now been put in limbo, thanks to the xenophobic policies of the Trump administration and the heartlessness of the Republican Congress. (The DREAMers) no longer know if they can continue pursuing their education, or get the job they have been working so hard for, or keep taking care of their young children.

“Republicans are now pursuing a highly partisan bill that is a reiteration of President Trump’s harshest immigration policies. The real solution for DREAMers lies in finally passing the DREAM Act and a pathway to citizenship, so that these students, doctors, service members, teachers, parents, neighbors, and friends can continue living the American dream.”

ADDABBO’S BILL AIDS SMALL BUSINESSES THAT HIRE DISABLED EMPLOYEES: Legislation (S.3688) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) that would create a tax credit program for small businesses that hire disabled employees awaits the governor’s approval, as the bill has been passed by the State Senate and Assembly.

“This proposal would help New York’s small businesses hire talented, qualified workers who simply happen to be disabled, and who may find it difficult to obtain employment,” said Addabbo. “Offering tax incentives to small companies to reach out to potential employees with mental, physical or medical disabilities would be a win-win: providing employers with first-rate workers they might not otherwise consider, and enabling disabled New Yorkers to gain work experience and support themselves.”

Under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 100 employees would be able to receive a $5,000 tax credit for each disabled person they hire, up to $25,000. The employees must work at least 35 hours a week for at least one year for the companies to be eligible for the tax credit. Statewide, $5 million would be available each year to cover the cost of the credits.

 “The employment rate for disabled Americans has been falling, and this tax incentive may help to reverse the trend,” said Addabbo. “According to the 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium produced by RespectAbility, a national advocacy group, New York ranked 36th in the nation in terms of the number of disabled people employed in the state. The job rate for disabled workers in New York came in at 33 percent.”

Nationwide, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for disabled Americans fell from 39.3 percent in 2009 to 34.5 percent in 2015.

 “Clearly, we need to do more to help our disabled family members, neighbors and friends find meaningful employment and enjoy the independence that a steady job can bring,” said Addabbo. “At the same time, it’s important to help our small business owners—who are the backbone of our economy—find qualified employees to share in and contribute to the success of their companies.”

Now that the legislation has cleared both houses of the legislature, the next stop for the proposal is Governor Cuomo’s desk for final consideration.

ADDABBO’S TASK FORCE BILL TO COMBAT PROBLEM GAMBLING APPROVED: With new casinos operating around the state, and the possibility of legalized sports betting on the horizon, the New York State Senate approved a bill sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. to combat problem gambling. The legislation (S.3067) would create an 11-member Task Force on Responsible Gaming within the New York State Gaming Commission.

“When New Yorkers voted in 2013 to permit non-tribal casino gambling in the state, it allowed for the construction of up to seven new gaming facilities,” said Addabbo, who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. “Many of these are now in operation, and New York is also considering proposals to legalize sports betting in the state. While we hope the expansion of wagering activities will ultimately provide an economic boost for the state and areas hosting casinos, we also need to recognize and address the potential for a serious increase in problem gambling in New York. My legislation would create a framework to confront this issue.”

The Task Force members, who would serve without compensation, would need to have expertise in problem gambling treatment and prevention, as well as insights into problem gambling programs administered by gaming facilities. The group would make recommendations to the legislature and governor regarding the best strategies to address gaming disorders among New York residents.

Addabbo’s legislation, having passed the Senate, is now under consideration by the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.

Addabbo pointed out that there are a number of organizations available to help people with gambling disorders, including The Queens Center for Excellence, which is affiliated with the New York State Council on Problem Gambling. The website for the group is www.queenscfe.org, and information about services is available by calling 347-551-2913.

GIANARIS’ BILL PASSES REQUIRING AGENCIES TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS: NYS Senator Michael Gianaris announced the State Senate passed his legislation (S.2397) allowing state agencies to use new methods to engage New Yorkers in decision-making. The bill, which passed unanimously, allows residents to petition agencies to hold public hearings during rulemaking. The legislation also permits agencies to use new technologies, including live streaming and teleconferencing, to hold hearings. “More public input in agency decision-making will help government make better decisions,” said Senator Gianaris. “This proposal would empower New Yorkers to force a public discussion of important proposed regulations before they are decided. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to pass this important measure so policy-making can benefit from more public input.” Gianaris’ proposal would require agencies to hold public hearings if 125 or more New Yorkers sign a petition requesting one. This would mark the first time New York State residents could petition their way into an agency’s rulemaking process. Similar measures exist in other states, including California, Arizona, New Hampshire, Idaho, Illinois, and Utah. The three-year pilot also allows seven different agencies to utilize modern technology to engage New Yorkers at public hearings. The affected agencies are the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Departments of Education, Environmental Conservation, Health, Financial Services, Labor, and Family Assistance. The legislation is currently awaiting a vote in the State Assembly.

MALONEY ASKS JEC CHAIR TO HOLD A HEARING ON LABOR MOBILITY: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) requested on June 12 that the chair of the Joint Economic Committee hold a hearing on labor mobility, an issue that affects wages and economic growth. Maloney, the Senior House Democrat on the committee, has repeatedly expressed concern with the fact that wages for many Americans have stagnated in recent decades. She also has sought to investigate the reasons for the relatively slow percentage growth in the Gross National Product.

“When Americans cannot easily move to a better paying job because of fear of reprisal or other consequences, for example losing their health benefits, they have less power to negotiate for higher pay. These hardworking Americans also are increasingly constrained by non-compete clauses and non-disclosure agreements they are forced to sign, limiting their ability to take a better-paying job with a competitor. This is unacceptable and clearly hurts Americans who are trying to make a living and provide for their families. The JEC needs to have a hearing to investigate these important issues,” said Rep. Maloney.

Anti-competitive contracts also inhibit the free mixing of ideas and talent, so-called “knowledge spillovers,” that have been a driving force of technical innovation. Research suggests that the fact that California does not enforce non-compete contracts is partly responsible for its vibrant tech sector.  Parts of the country that enforce non-compete contracts have suffered from “brain drain” and lost productivity.

It is estimated that approximately one in five Americans are bound by anti-competitive labor agreements.

The issue of labor mobility is a nonpartisan one. Members of both parties agree on the need to support the conditions necessary for American workers to maximize their earning potential, for the United States to remain a world leader in innovation and for boosting productivity.

GILLIBRAND’S BILL SUPPORTS WORKERS WHEN JOBS BECOME AUTOMATED: According to a new report released this week, 1.2 million jobs in New York State could be eliminated and replaced by technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence. US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s legislation would provide retraining and reemployment services for workers displaced by automation and help workers get the skills they need for jobs in fast-growing, emerging industries.

As increasingly sophisticated automation threatens jobs throughout New York and the country, Gillibrand announced on June 12 the TAA for Automation Act, new legislation that would provide Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits, including job training and reemployment services, to workers who are displaced due to automation.

According to a study released this week by the Center for an Urban Future, more than one million current jobs throughout New York could be lost to automation. Under the current TAA program, TAA benefits are limited to workers who face job loss due to increased imports and shifts in production outside of the United States. Gillibrand’s legislation would expand this program to help protect workers who lose their jobs due to automation, so that they can get the skills and training they need to be prepared for high-tech jobs of the future.

The US TAA provides a range of benefits and reemployment services, including the following:

•Training for employment in another job or career: Workers are eligible for training in occupational skills, basic or remedial education, or English as a second language. Workers may also receive employment services such as case management, skills assessment, and job search assistance.

• Income Support: Workers can receive weekly cash payments after their unemployment compensation benefit is exhausted and during the period in which a worker is participating in an approved full-time training program.

• Job Search Allowance: Workers can get reimbursed for expenses incurred in seeking employment outside their normal commuting area.

• Relocation Allowances: Workers can receive reimbursement for approved expenses if they are successful in obtaining employment outside their normal commuting area and they need to relocate.

In the city, there are 454,010 highly automatable jobs (10.2 percent of all positions). An estimated $92 billion in wages could be lost due to automation in the five boroughs.

For more information, visit Gillibrand.senate.gov.

CROWLEY ENDORSEMENTS CONTINUE STREAMING IN:

Congress Member Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was endorsed for reelection by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and by leaders in the city’s Asian American community. The Democratic primary will be held on June 26.

US Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer: “New York is facing attack after attack from President Trump. We need leaders like Joe Crowley in Congress to fight back.”

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

“With our state and our country facing constant threats from the Trump administration, Joe Crowley is on the frontlines fighting for all New Yorkers. A progressive leader, Joe and I have worked together to protect immigrant communities, fought to raise the minimum wage, and ensure that health care is a right for all Americans. We need Joe fighting for Queens and the Bronx in Congress,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Crowley proudly represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes portions of the Queens and the Bronx. He’s been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congress Member Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly.

Asian American Leaders:

Congress Member Grace Meng: “In Congress, he’s constantly fighting for Queens and Bronx families on critical issues like comprehensive immigration reform, gun safety, and education.”

NYC Council Member Peter Koo: “[Crowley] is a tried and true advocate on behalf of our proud Queens values of diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all, as those principles face a time of unprecedented assaults in Washington...”

NYS Assembly Member Ron Kim: “At a time when our nation is dealing with heightened hatred toward minorities and immigrants, we need strong leaders like Joe who truly understand the importance of inclusion and diversity in our country.”

Former NYC Comptroller John Liu: “Joe Crowley is a true fighter for New Yorkers of all backgrounds. He’s stood with our communities time and time again on health care, immigration, education, and human rights. This is why I’m so proud to endorse him for election and urge Queens and Bronx residents to vote for Crowley on June 26.”

He also received enthusiastic support from the following leaders: Shiv Dass, president of the Jackson Heights Indian Merchants Association; Peter Tu, executive director, Flushing Chinese Business Association; Mohan Gyawali, President of the Himalayan Democratic Club; Dr. Dilip Nath, president of New American Voters Association; Maf Misbah Uddin, national president of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor; Queens-based political and women’s rights activist Reshma Saujani; Kevin Kim, a Queens-based activist and public servant; and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Crowley has a strong history of defending the rights of immigrant and minority communities in New York. He spearheaded an effort demanding that the Department of Justice track hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus, and Arab-Americans following a spike in hate crimes against those communities. Crowley also successfully pushed the US military and the New York Police Department to change their policies so individuals can serve their country while wearing articles of faith.

Additionally, Crowley has always stood up for immigrants and refugees from South Asia. He has been a staunch supporter of Temporary Protected Status for all qualifying countries including Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, and El Salvador, personally led the effort in securing TPS for Nepal, and is a lead cosponsor on legislation that would allow those with TPS to remain in the United States and secure citizenship.

MALONEY, PELOSI +120 FILE AMICUS AGAINST CENSUS CITIZENSHIP QUESTION: Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the House Census Caucus and author the of the 2020 Census IDEA Act, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi led 120 current House and Senate Democrats on an amicus brief submitted on June 15 in support of the New York State-led lawsuit seeking to stop the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

As the amicus brief states, the Census Bureau has long recognized that any effort to ascertain citizenship will inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count. These fears are now at an all-time high given threats by the Trump administration that “every immigrant in the country without papers…should be uncomfortable,” “should look over their shoulder,” and “needs to be worried.” Indeed, the Census Bureau’s own evidence demonstrated “an unprecedented groundswell in confidentiality and data sharing concerns, particularly among immigrants or those who live with immigrants.”  

The brief argues that both Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment make clear that the census is intended to count all people residing in the United States, both citizen and non-citizen alike. Despite the secretary of commerce’s authority to determine the manner of taking the census, this authority does not give the secretary power to do an “end-run” around his constitutional duty to count all persons. Furthermore, the addition of an untested citizenship question does not, in any way, advance any legitimate governmental interest.

“Every effort must be made to fight the Trump Administration’s unconstitutional assault on our census,” said Rep. Maloney. “That is why today, I am proud to submit, with Leader Pelosi and many of my House colleagues, this amicus brief in support of the multi-state lawsuit to prevent the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Our democracy depends on a full and accurate count of our nation and the Trump Administration cannot be allowed to compromise that.”

“The census is a pillar of our democracy, ensuring that everyone is counted and represented,” said Democratic Leader Pelosi. ”It is deeply disturbing that the Trump Administration put politics over the Constitution by pushing a citizenship question in the census.  This dangerous decision will inject fear and distrust into vulnerable communities and cause traditionally undercounted communities to be even further under-represented, financially excluded and left behind.  I salute Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for her continued leadership, and am proud to join her and many of our Democratic colleagues in submitting this vital amicus brief to protect the strong, accurate and nonpartisan census that our democracy and Constitution demand.”

UAW ENDORSES CAROLYN MALONEY: UAW Region 9A endorsed Congress Member Carolyn Maloney for reelection in New York’s 12th Congressional District. “Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is a proven and tested leader for civil rights, the rights of unions, and a powerful defender of working families in New York. With all three branches of government in Republican hands and committed to the destruction of labor, we need strong, progressive leaders like Carolyn like never before. This is why UAW Region 9A strongly supports our longtime friend and champion, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, for reelection,” said Julie Kushner, director of UAW Region 9A said in the June 15 statement.

“I am grateful to UAW Region 9A and their thousands of members for their support and faith in my candidacy,” said Congress Member Maloney. “From a Republican tax bill that provides lavish tax cuts to only the very wealthy, to their efforts in the courts to remove labor’s right to collectively bargain, unions are under constant siege right now. I will continue to do what I have always done and stand up for working families. I am grateful to the UAW and look forward to continuing to work with them in Congress against a cruel and cynical Republican agenda.”

UAW Region 9A covers eastern New York (including New York City, the Hudson Valley and the Capital District area), Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Puerto Rico. Region 9A represents a variety of workers, including child care providers, graduate employees and human service workers.

With the Democratic Primary on June 26th, Maloney has been endorsed by every City Council member, Assembly member and state senator that represents New York’s 12th Congressional District; three citywide elected leaders: Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer; all four Democratic Borough Presidents; and the entire New York House Democratic delegation. In addition, Carolyn Maloney is supported by the AFL-CIO, 32BJ, DC37, Teamsters Local 237, the United Steelworkers District 4, the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Emily’s List, New York State United Teachers, NARAL, End Citizens United, the Sierra Club, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), and more.

ASSEMBLY OVERWHELMINGLY PASSES WEPRIN BODY SCANNER BILL: Assembly Member David I. Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill) announced passage of legislation permitting the use of body image scanner devices in correctional facilities in New York City as part of an effort to reduce illegally smuggled contraband at city correctional facilities.

A.6838 (Weprin)—S.5337 (Hannon) seeks to combat a rash of slashing and stabbing assaults involving the use of ceramic blades and exacto knives, which are undetectable with the use of regular metal detectors. The bill also includes safeguards against the overuse of body scanning equipment including requirements for the operation of body scanner equipment relating to the training of operators, limitations on exposure, registration and inspection requirements for body scanning equipment. Matching legislation previously passed the State Senate and will be sent to the governor for his signature.

“In light of the endemic violence at Rikers Island and the increasing use of ceramic blades as weapons among the inmate population, it is important to safeguard staff and inmates from the immediate and widespread threat of slashing,” said Assembly Member Weprin. “This legislation strikes an even balance between protecting inmates from the horrific physical and psychological effects that come with being a victim of a slashing while awaiting trial, while ensuring the secure use of body scanning equipment. I thank Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie for bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote and his efforts to make New York’s jails safer for inmates, correctional employees and others.”

CROWLEY STATEMENT ON EID AL-FITR: House Democratic Caucus Chair Member Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) released the following statement in recognition of Eid al-Fitr:

“I send my warmest greetings to all those celebrating Eid al-Fitr in Queens, the Bronx, and around the world. Eid is a joyous time to reflect on the meaning of the Holy Month of Ramadan, a time for spiritual renewal, gratitude, and generosity.

“This is also a time for every American to reflect on the importance of embracing our diversity, respecting all religions, and upholding our shared values of peace, compassion, and justice. As Muslim Americans gather together with friends and loved ones, let us all commit ourselves to embracing the spirit of Ramadan every day. Eid Mubarak!”

ADDABBO TO BRING MOBILE OFFICE HOURS TO OZONE PARK LIBRARY: In order to be available for more of his constituents across his district, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) will be hosting mobile office hours at the Ozone Park Library at the end of June.

In his ongoing effort to be accessible to the constituents, Addabbo will be at the Ozone Park Library, located at 92-24 Rockaway Boulevard, between the hours of 5:30 and 7 pm on Thursday, June 28.

Each year Addabbo hosts mobile office hours at libraries throughout his large Senate district to meet with residents wishing to talk with him about problems they may be having or to bring a community issue to light. By holding these mobile office hours, Addabbo makes it more convenient for constituents to come to him during times that are easier for them and at a site right in their community.

“I have always believed that, being an elected official it is my responsibility to hear directly from my constituents on issues—no matter how big or small—that affect their daily lives,” Addabbo said. “I understand that often times it can be difficult for people to come to one of my three district offices during normal business hours, so these mobile office hours gives them a chance to meet with me at a time that works for them. I always look forward to the mobile office hours and hearing from the people.”

Additional mobile office hours are currently being scheduled for future dates and locations throughout the district. For more information, call Addabbo’s Howard Beach Office at 718-738-1111.

—With Contributions by Annette Hanze Alberts

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